A 21-year-old Michigan man faces criminal charges for allegedly making death threats against Democratic officials—President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer—according to the state attorney general’s office.
Joshua Docter, from the Netherlands, faces one count of threat of terrorism and one count of using a computer to commit a crime, felonies that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement.
“Threatening elected officials is against the law and my office will prosecute those who attempt to intimidate or terrorize our state and federal leaders,” Nessel said.
Docter is accused of threatening to “shoot and kill” the three elected officials, making the threats in January on social media platform iFunny. Officials added that Docter said in the posts that he wanted to “‘be the catalyst’ for a new American revolution.” The FBI began investigating after authorities received tips about the threats.
“I appreciate the thorough investigative work by the FBI and Michigan State Police on this case, and I consider it another excellent example of showcasing the dedication that those working in law enforcement have to protecting the public,” Nessel said.
Docter turned himself in on March 16 and was arraigned the same day on the charges, which were filed a day earlier in Ottawa County 58th District Court.
It follows reports that one of six men facing federal charges in connection with an alleged plot to kidnap Whitmer has agreed to plead guilty to a kidnapping conspiracy.
In the plea agreement, Ty Garbin made a number of admissions, including that he and others trained with weapons in Munith, Michigan, and Cambria, Wisconsin, last summer and “discussed the plan to storm the Capitol and kidnap the governor.”
In October, the FBI said it broke up a plot to kidnap the Democratic governor by anti-government extremists upset over her coronavirus restrictions. Six people were charged in federal court while eight others were charged in state court with aiding the alleged scheme.
The plot, he said, switched to a summer home on Mackinac Island reserved for Michigan governors or Whitmer’s second home in Antrim County.
Garbin said he “advocated waiting until after the national election, when the conspirators expected widespread civil unrest to make it easier for them to operate.”
In September, the six men trained at Garbin’s property near Luther, Michigan, constructing a “shoot house” to resemble Whitmer’s vacation home and “assaulting it with firearms.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.